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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  July 6, 2017 2:30am-2:59am BST

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without having to increase taxes. the new environment secretary michael gove also suggested the cap could be lifted. while the chancellor philip hammond went public to defend the cap. in the commons, the labour leader jeremy corbyn said the cap on public sector pay was causing real hardship. i had a letter last week from a teacher called david. it is all right, here's a teacher, all right? and he said, and i quote, i have been teaching for ten years. i see my workload increase, i have seen more people leave the profession than start, and no form of pay increase in seven years. the only thing holding the education system together is the dedication to struggle on for the students and staff, and he said this dedication is starting to run out, so what we are doing with this pay cap is recklessly exploiting the goodwill of public servants like david. they need a pay rise. let me remind the right honourable gentleman why it has been necessary
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to exercise restraint. it is because we inherited the biggest deficit in history. the prime ministerfound £1 billion to keep her ownjob, why can't she find the same amount of money to keep nurses and teachers in theirjob, who after all serve all of us? contrary to all of what he said, we have more nurses working in the nhs today compared to 2010. let me remind the right honourable gentleman of what happens when you don't deal with the deficit. it's not a theoretical issue. let's look at those countries who failed to deal with it. in greece, where they haven't dealt with the deficit... what did we see with failure to deal with the deficit? spending on the health
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service cut by 36%. that doesn't help nurses are patients. —— or patients. i hope the prime minister is proud of her record of controlling public sector pay to the extent that hard—working nurses have to access food banks in order to survive. and the frozen wages of teaching assistants, paramedics and council workers, but it is not just in public sector, but across the economy wages are rising by 2.1% while inflation is nearly 3%. 6 million workers already earn less than a living wage. what does the prime minister think that tells us about seven years of a conservative government and what it has done to the living standards of those people on whom we all rely on to get our public services and health services delivered to us?
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let me just say what isn't fair. it isn't fair to refuse to take tough decisions and to load debts on our children and grandchildren for the future. it isn't fair to bankrupt economy because that leads to people losing theirjobs and losing their homes. mr speaker, let me spell it out, this is the only country in which wages have not recovered since the global financial crash. more people are using food banks. 4 million children living in poverty. record in—work poverty, young people who see no prospect of owning their own home, and 6 million earning less than a living wage. the low—pay epidemic is a threat to our economic stability.
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can she take some tough choices and instead of offering platitudes, offer some real help and support for those in work, young people who deserve better and deserve to be given more optimism rather than greater inequality. we actually now see that the proportion of people in absolute poverty is at a record low. i know the right honourable gentleman has taken to calling himself a government in waiting. we all know what that means. waiting to put up taxes, waiting to destroyjobs, waiting to bankrupt country. we will never let it happen. the uk government has not announced any measures to address rising inflation and slowing wage growth, which the ifs has described as dreadful. as workers face more than a decade of lost wage growth
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and endure the worst period for paid in 70 years, does the prime minister think she is looking out for the just about managing? what is important is that we ensure we have an economy which is increasing the number ofjobs because the best route out of poverty is for people to be in work. that is what we are doing and we have seen nearly 3 million more jobs being created over recent years and that is important for people. we also help people, for example, by cutting taxes. work so hard to deliver the strong public services. the shadow chancellor talked about tensions between 10 and 11 downing st. for the prime minister that must be tough living next to a disruptive neighbour you can't stand, you try to get rid of and you can't get on with. we then receive in the press, mr speaker, the wisdom of the right honourable member for 0xbridge who according to spokesperson supports the idea public sector workers getting a better pay deal.
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this was followed up by his past campaign manager, the honourable... his campaign manager turned political assassin, the new environment secretary, who actually supports the putsch against the chancellor. then the whole process degenerates into farce when we have david cameron earning 300,000 a speech telling us that those want more than 1% are selfish. as the shadow chancellor knows well the former prime minister didn't say it was selfish for dedicated public sector workers to ask for a pay rise. he argued that is selfish and immoral for politicians to offer benefits to the voters of today paid for by the voters of tomorrow, so would my right honourable friend agree that for her children and mine it is important to balance fair treatment of the public sector with handing money strong country not saddled by excess debt. in the exceedingly fine city of norwich we have three nhs trusts, two local authorities, a teaching hospital,
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thousands of public sector workers to contribute to our economy and who at present are struggling to make ends meet. surely this government must understand that austerity is dying on its feet. invest in these people and lift the public sector paycap and invest in the norwich economy. we know that since 2010, there have been 30,000 more nurses employed in the nhs but i am worried that the party opposite‘s unfunded proposals can actually lead to a cut in the number of nurses. a £68 billion black hole in their manifesto. mr speaker, right now 130 workers at the dwp office have been told their place of work will be closed and jobs relocated up to an hour's drive away. haven't these public sector workers suffered enough from the pay cap? the last thing they now need to be told as
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you have to find more money to pay via travel to and from work. that is a fundamental difference in the economic conditions when the 1% pay cap was introduced, with the fear of la rge—scale unemployment and deflation, from the present day when the chronic labour shortages throughout the public sector and salaries have been eroded by rising inflation. will she not lift the pay cap to reflect basic economic reality? it is not fair to say it is solely the 1%. public sector workers are awarded on a number of ways. liz truss. now, how healthy is our democracy? very healthy, we like to think. but are things as rosy as they seem? there've been claims that when the nation went to the polls one month ago, at thejune 8th general election, some young people may have deliberately voted twice — both in the place where they're a student and in their home town. the claims of double voting led
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to some robust exchanges in the commons on the extent of electoral fraud in the uk. is the minister aware that there is now clear evidence that many students boasted on social media of voting twice — once at university, and once by post at home? surely this is straightforward electoral fraud. the offence of double voting that he raises is completely unacceptable. indeed, it is nothing less than an abuse of our democracy. i am meeting sirjohn holmes, the chair of the electoral commission, this afternoon, and i intend to raise this with him as a priority. let all of us in this house be clear: this is a crime. if anyone has any evidence of people voting twice, they should report it to their local returning officer and the police, who must take this issue seriously. are we not supposed to have policy driven by evidence, and is it not significant that the minister gave not one shred of evidence in his reply? quite frankly, in every election there are one or two cases of people being convicted of fraud,
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out of tens of millions of voters. this is straight out of the donald trump disinformation playbook, because ministers are again trying to suppress voter participation. the minister cannot come up with any evidence — if anyone has such evidence, they should take it to the police — and he should be ashamed of himself. the last electoral commission report on the subject shows that 38% of people felt that electoral fraud was an issue. since 2010, 2,394 alleged cases of electoral fraud have been reported to the electoral commission. in eddisbury there was clear evidence of double registrations, even within the constituency. does the minister agree that we should have a central system that flags up people who are double—registered, wherever they are in the country? but surely the time has come for automatic electoral registration. how can it possibly be fair that, according to the office for national statistics,
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in my inner—city nottingham constituency, less than three quarters of adults are on the electoral register, but in the minister?s constituency, over 97% of adults are? is not the real electoral fraud those policies that stand in the way of citizens exercising their democratic rights? it has been highlighted that all someone needs when they go to vote is a name and an address. in theory, someone could get hold of a telephone directory and vote all day in different polling stations. does the minister agree that it is time to use photo identification to prevent electoral fraud? my honourable friend is absolutely right. people deserve to have confidence in the security of our democratic system of elections. voter id has been in place in northern ireland for decades, and the use of photographic id was introduced in 2003 under the previous labour government. the electoral commission has consistently called for use of id in polling stations to protect
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the integrity of the polls. the government will conduct voter id pilots in the local elections in may 2018 to enable us to learn what works best, and to ensure that we develop a system in which there is full public confidence. chris skidmore. you're watching our round—up of the day in the commons and the lords. still to come: mps declare "something must be done" about the nation's roads. it's three weeks since the grenfell tower fire — which killed at least 80 people. theresa may promised that all those who had lost their homes in the tragedy would be offered temporary housing by this date. the government has announced that a taskforce will be sent in to take over parts of kensington and chelsea council. the council has been heavily criticised for its handling of the disaster. updating mps, the housing minister said 158 families had been identified as needing temporary housing — where, he said, they could live, rent—free, while permanent accomodation was found.
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i can confirm that every family that is ready to talk to the housing team has been offered a temporary home, and that 139 families have received offers of accommodation. however, 19 families have not yet been ready to engage in the process, and we need to respect that. some are still in hospital as a result of their injuries. in some cases, the people on the ground offering those families support have made clear that it would be inappropriate at this time to ask them to make a decision about where they will live. they have been through unimaginable trauma, and we need to go at the pace at which they want to go. what matters above all else is what the families individually want. as he came to the end
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of his statement, the minister was nearly overwhelmed by tears. my visits to the westway, hearing the harrowing accounts of survivors, have been the most humbling and moving experience of my life. the families i have met have been through unimaginable pain. this is a tragedy that should never have happened, and we are determined to do all that we can to make sure something like this never happens again. i welcome the minister to the dispatch box for his first oral statement in this job and thank him for making a copy of his statement available. john healey said it had been a testing first few weeks for the minister — but he had to say that the government had been slow to act. after the fire, the prime minister said: "i have fixed a deadline of three weeks for everybody affected to be found a home nearby."
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the three weeks are up, yet whole families, who have lost everything, are still in hotels and hostels. we have learned today that three — just three — of the 158 families from grenfell tower have moved into a fresh home, and these are only temporary, which was not what the prime minister first said. is the minister aware that, despite the press narrative of survivors refusing £1 million luxury flats, some are being offered totally unsuitable accommodation? one man in particular, whom i think the minister has met, runs his own business and cares for his elderly disabled mother. he was offered a home in a poorly maintained, rat—infested estate that is about to be demolished. what kind of peace and stability could that traumatised family, who escaped with their lives while rescuing their neighbours, possibly find in that frankly shameful offer? i would really like to know who considered that kind of accommodation to be suitable.
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we do not want any family to be placed in accommodation that is unsuitable. i invite the hon. lady tojoin me and the shadow minister — let us go and visit some of these properties and make sure that she is happy with the quality of what is on offer. i want to share the words of my constituent, jess. she says: "i am a firefighter and went into grenfell tower, rescuing an unconscious girl from the 12th floor. myself and my fellow firefighters will never forget the horrors of that night and the fact we couldn?t rescue everyone. but we are not to blame for these deaths, the shocking and tragic fire in grenfell tower was avoidable. i have never seen a building go up in flames so quickly, it took minutes for the fire to hop from floor to floor. this tragedy has shown that the laws on fire safety in buildings aren?t fit for purpose." what would the minister say to my constituent, and what support has been put in place for workers like her?
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in reply, mr sharma paid tribute to the "incredible work" that the firefighters did, and do, every day of the year. he said trauma counselling was vital. he said a public inquiry had been set up to get to the bottom of what had happened. there was discussion also in the house of lords on the government's latest moves in the aftermath of the grenfell fire. in the prime minister?s statement on 22june, she first outlined that the accommodation will be on the same terms as the original accommodation, and we have seen a definition of that today. unfortunately, i understood "same terms" to be in the personal injury lawyer sense, which is to put the person back into the position they would have been in had none of this happened. people who have been placed in accommodation with more bedrooms should be in the same position — having the same money still in their pocket — as if they were in the house they had been in. this tragedy should never have happened. everything must be done to make sure it never happens again, to do right by the victims and their families, to treat them
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with care and respect, and to give them the support they deserve and the answers they need. there is a real risk that something will happen — not necessarily this, maybe a plane crash. it is quite clear that the organisation in london of individual boroughs is not properly equipped to handle a tragedy of this scale. there is no wonder that manchester city council did a better job than kensington and chelsea: the resources available are on a vastly different scale. the minister talked about a task force. there needs to be a permanent organisation so that if tragedy strikes in one of these ways, it can go straight in and do the work. i very much hope that that will be the outcome of this. what steps is the minister taking to ensure that there are no other local authorities that are equally weak in disaster planning and response? although this was a terrible tragedy, in terms of managing the disaster, it was not particularly difficult. it was very concentrated geographically.
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what would have happened if a wide—bodied jet had landed somewhere in west london? my noble friend said that this case was easy to handle but i would dispute that. it might have been geographically concentrated, but the nature of this tragedy was such that it was, and still is, very difficult to address. i have no particular knowledge of detailed plans for the type of disaster he talked about, but the suggestion by my noble friend lord king and the prime minister of some sort of civil action disaster task force is an appropriate one to deal with such awful occasions, which do happen over time — we can think of transport disasters or hillsborough. such situations would be helped by having an appropriate body with legacy ideas passed on from one awful disaster to another. it is an idea that is worth pursuing on a non—partisan basis. councils in england are to be given access to a multibillion—pound fund
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for local road improvements. it could mean new by—passes and relief roads for country towns facing serious traffic congestion. under the scheme, to be implemented in 2020, road improvement projects will be judged on how they contribute to creating a more geographically balanced economy, and tackle congestion. it was originally thought the money, held in the national roads, fund would be spent on motorways and a—roads. mps in westminster hall have been staging a general debate on problems on the country's road network. can i perhaps be the first honourable member in this house to make an oral application to the roads minister for bypasses for little common off the a259 and hurst green off the a21. i'm sure i will not be the last applicant today. i would like to talk about the a27 that runs through my constituency.
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it was envisaged as a coastal highway, but anybody who has travelled along the road will know it is too often a coastal car park. if you ask many drivers and what their priorities are, they will say it is fixing damage local roads, not the strategic network. potholes don't just impair the quality of driving, extended journey times and damage vehicles, they are a real safety risk for drivers and cyclists. everyone is a road user, and tackling the poor condition of our roads should be a national priority. the recently published annual local authority road maintenance survey found almost one fifth of roads were in poor condition, while local authorities said one in six roads across england and wales are in such bad state they must be repaired within the next five years. the bypass has been waiting for 20 or 30 years and we are progressing,
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but this kind of fund is exactly what we need to get it over the line. the other three decade road in waiting is the link road that also affects the tower lane and the village of bishopstoke. and that's the end of the road for me for this programme. dojoin me for our next daily round—up. until then, from me, keith macdougall, goodbye. hello again. temperatures hit the 30 degrees mark at london's heathrow airport and at wisley in surrey on wednesday, more of that hot weather to come today.
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temperatures again pestering the 30 degrees mark however for some there will be some fairly lively thundery downpours over the next 2a hours. the first place that could see some storms is towards southern england. a batch could move across the near channel but there's about two hours of dry ebony the storm clouds so there might not be a huge amount of rain falling despite the thunder and lightning first thing. could be some murky weather around the coastline but essentially plenty of sunshine across wales, the midlands and much of northern england to start the day. northern ireland partly cloudy but again brighter moments. in scotla nd but again brighter moments. in scotland will have a rather disappointing start to the day, rather cloudy with a band of rain slowly pushing east. temperatures in glasgow around 8am all 9am, “i. through the rest of the day that first batch of storms travels north, perhaps in two parts of east anglia, but later on we could see some more significant storms breaking out across parts of the midlands and northern england as well.
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temperature wise, nothing to write home about across scotland and northern ireland but a little warmer than over the last few days. the hot and humid airwith than over the last few days. the hot and humid air with us in england and wales, temperatures peaking over 30 again. late afternoon and evening, these storms over eastern england could get very lively, there could be one or two storms that are capable of bringing the best part of a month of rain injust a few hours. hopefully those scenes won't be too widespread but there's the potential of getting a bit of disruption in one or two communities. on through thursday night, a band of rain pushes across scotland and we'll be left with rather soupy conditions in england and wales, 18 in london. on friday, a quieter day, plenty of in england and wales again, hot and humid, pushing towards 30 again. a few showers or northern england and southern scotland but brighter conditions in scotland. still not the warmest, though, highs of 17 in belfast and glasgow, hot and humid air still with us in south—east
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england. things changing on the weekend, a general trend for u nsettled weekend, a general trend for unsettled weather and cooler through sunday and into monday as well. that's your latest weather. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: after north korea's new missile test, the diplomatic fallout. russia and china say there must not be a military response. the us says it is prepared to use force. the united states is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves, and our allies. violent protests in venezuela on independence day — hundreds of demonstrators storm the national assembly and attack members of congress. changing gear — volvo plans to give all its new cars an electric motor from 2019. and why more and more young people injapan are embracing celibacy.
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